Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reading to kids

Since Michael and I are on the topic of dads reading to kids and since we've been talking about my dad's reading tastes, I'll just share a bit about my dad reading to me when I was little.

I would, of course, want him to read Green Eggs and Ham or something like that to me. I would get my book and climb into his lap. He'd open my book and begin:

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred...

I'd whine in exasperation, "DAAAAAADDYYYYYY, that's not how it goes."

He'd say, "Oh, I was on the wrong page.

 "Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'..."


Dad:  Just listen:

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;

Me:  MOOOMMMMYYYYYY!!! Daddy won't read it right.

He thought this exchange was hilarious and the madder I got the harder he laughed.

Yes, he knew many poems, or parts thereof, by heart, including Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade.

In the end, we'd often compromise and he'd read The Duel by Eugene Field or some Kipling.

In spite of our differences, which in later years were a bigger deal than getting him to read what I wanted to hear, I'm appreciative of the really cool stuff he exposed me to.

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